I was a mom to three very well behaved “neuro-typical” kids. Then came our 4th through adoption. She was this seemingly misbehaving, hyperactive 4-year-old child who was just in need of a family and love. Little did we know, until a few months passed, that our adopted child was soon to be diagnosed as having Reactive Attachment Disorder, ADHD and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and had emotional and behavioral needs we had no knowledge of dealing with. Well-meaning friends and family assumed we weren’t loving her enough, being too hard on her, not being hard enough on her, that she just needed time to adjust and we were expecting too much, and freely offered this opinion often.
My husband and I began to feel hopeless, isolated and abandoned and both of us were diagnosed with Depression and PTSD from dealing with our child’s misbehavior and often 7+ hours long tantrums. Now our daughter is six and on multiple medications, as are my husband and myself, and our friends and family are slowly coming around to the realization that mental illness is not something that can be loved away, or swept under the rug. It is real and it is not easy. Day by day with therapy we are getting better, I just wish there were more resources available for us.